Up, up and away

Emerging Creatives K&i Design Studio has collaborated with photographer Henry Thomas to create an installation for the Megaro Bar in London.

Design Indaba Emerging Creatives K&i Design Studio have created an installation in London titled “This Way Up”, a place where opposites meet… where city meets country, where images meet words.

The Cape Town-based design studio collaborated with South African landscape photographer Henry Thomas to create an installation that is based on contradictions and juxtapositions. “This Way Up” comprises a series of photographs, graphic elements, merged images and contrasting expressions that all work together to create a different view of the environment, both urban and natural.

The installation is on display at the Megaro Bar in London until March 2014.

We chatted to K&i Design Studio about the installation:

How did the collaboration with Henry Thomas come about and what did it involve?

Megaro Bar contacted Henry Thomas and asked if he would like to do an installation. Henry in turn contacted us to see if we wanted to collaborate. We then created a fun infographic illustrating the undertaking of the installation, involving lengthy discussions, numerous emails, strategic creative thinking and a few beers.

What was the design process for the installation?

A lot of time was spent coming up with the concept “This Way UP”. The bar where the installation is displayed is situated below ground, so as you walk down the stairs into the bar you are greeted with a magnificent rooftop view of London. The idea was to compile a single 16-meter panoramic image of a rooftop view from 125 randomly sized frames. Quality was of utmost importance, after a few dry runs, a digital Hasselblad was hired and a total of five shots were stitched together to make up a 16-meter panoramic image. We then created a two dimensional, scale version of the 125 frames, dropped the panoramic image behind the frames and cropped out the individual images, numbered it and sent to print. It was a particularly meticulous exercise, as the cropping had to be done perfectly in order to create a true feeling that you're in a skyscraper bar overlooking London through 125 “windows”.

The other section of the bar named the Dark Room has two developing tanks, ample wall space for larger prints and two drying lines. We further conceptualised the theme and created 18 artworks merging Henry's photography with our typographic designs. Beyond the installation space, printed and digital invites, opening night handouts, along with cocktail and canapé menus delivered a truly holistic experience.

All artworks on display are for sale.